Unexpected Illness

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Our friend’s father was diagnosed with cancer during a work trip from Los Angeles to Seoul, South Korea. The unexpected news forced the family to cling onto God tighter than they did before as fear and uncertainty about surgery, chemotherapy, logistics, and finance draped over them. Our friend is in a small group in Los Angeles who has been praying for his situation and by the amazing grace of God, the WitnessLA family was given an update on how God has answered their prayers during this difficult time.   

Prayer for responsiveness to surgery and chemo, and for the best possible medical care.  
Prayer update:
There were concerns that the surgery and chemotherapy would not be effective in battling the cancer given its late discovery. However, my dad’s surgery went extremely well in removing the cancer tumors. His recovery has been great and his chemo sessions are moving along without a hitch. He just received another full diagnosis and the chemo drugs that he’s been receiving seem to be really effective. He hasn’t had bad side effects from is, aside from the usual throwing up and not being able to eat for few days. Although he has lost a lot of weight, 25lbs to date, from this treatment, it’s been a blessing since he was a little heavy. It’s hard for him for maybe one or two days after the treatment but he’s otherwise been his normal self.  So all in all, everything is going fantastic. 

Prayer for logistics to be worked out, such as housing and transportation for the family.
Prayer update:
We didn’t know any doctors in South Korea and were concern we wouldn’t have access to the best medical care for my dad.  However, we soon discovered that his current doctor is the country’s leading specialist in this type of cancer.  This doctor is heavily sought after and the wait to see him can take as long as 2 years.  By the God’s amazing providence, this doctor just happened to have a free time slot when my dad went in the hospital for a routine checkup.  The doctor was able to diagnose the cancer, perform the surgery, and has taken it upon him to see to it that my dad complete all cancer treatments (any further surgery or chemo) through him.     

When my dad found out he had cancer, the first person he called was our home pastor for prayer. This turned out to be another blessing because God used him in helping us secure housing and transportation for my parents hear the hospital he needed to be.  We didn’t know anyone in that area so the pastor put us into touch with an elderly couple who lived near where my dad’s hospital is and asked them if my parents could use one of their rooms for a week or two while we figure out the housing situation. Instead, they decided to hand over the keys to their apartment to my parents for as long as we needed the place, free of charge. The couple has been staying at another apartment they own that is close by to the hospital.  They have been visiting frequently to pray for my parents and buy them grocery and such :)  

The location is perfect. It’s only a 30 min subway ride to the hospital and it’s away from the city, near a forest where things are really quiet and peaceful. My dad says he feels like he’s on vacation :) It’s amazing.

Prayer for finances in treating this costly illness.
Prayer update: We worry about finances a lot. We seriously had no idea how we were going to pay for everything. You can imagine how surgery + 6 months of chemo + living expenses + travel expenses would cost. My parents didn’t have anything in savings since they pretty much lost everything and was in debt from their previous business and I definitely did not have enough to be able to pay for everything. But God did his thing. My dad’s current boss is known to be a very stingy man and has been especially more stingy recently because of the down economy. But when he found out my dad was diagnosed with cancer, he paid everything upfront to cover all costs, no questions asked, and told us we could pay back in small increments. On top of that he’s been paying out of his own pocket to cover all of my dad’s travel costs. He’s also allowed my dad to work part time in Korea while receiving his full pay. oh, and it turns out that any Korea-born Korean (lol) can receive government health care benefits after living in the country for 3 months. 3 months was up last month so rest of the treatment cost will be only a fraction of what we’d have to pay if my dad was receiving treatment in the US (it’s about 50 times cheaper). 

Prayer for stronger faith and trust in the Lord.
Prayer update: My parents can’t stop talking about God. My dad prays all the time now. I’ve walked in on him praying to god on his knees and tearing, which I’ve never seen him do before (both praying on his knees and tearing). He always tells me to pray and trust god for everything because none of this would have been remotely possible if it wasn’t for god’s provisions. His worldly views on a lot of things have disappeared and replaced by godly ones. I know that this is just the start and god is going to continue working in my parents. How cool is that?!

I just want to encourage everyone to trust in God for everything in every situation. God arranged everything and provided in ways we didn’t even know we needed provision for. I know that even with everything that has happened I’ll continue to fail in trusting in god. But thank god he’s infinitely more faithful and patient than I am :) Please continue to pray for us and for my dad’s health. He’s on schedule to finish his chemo sometime in January but he’s been saying it’s been getting a little more difficult lately. Please pray for strength and faith! 

Update: Since sharing this update a couple months ago, our friend’s dad has not been responding positively to the chemo he has been receiving.  Please pray for this family to continue to find peace, joy, and trust in God.  Please pray for miraculous healing and that God will continue to be glorified through this difficult situation.